This week I completed the manuscript for my next book for Kalmbach Publishing. This one has a working title of "45 Track Plans." Yes, the book contains 45 new track plans ranging from 18 to 2500 square feet. The subject matter is mostly in the United States, but there are some plans set in England, France, Peru, Iran in WWII, and even one in the future on Mars. The eras covered range from the 1860s to the modern and beyond!
The Mars layout is a based on the scenario described in Robert Zubrin's book, "The Case for Mars." The layout looks at what an iron hauling railroad might look like on the Red Planet. The omnipresence of iron is how the planet got its name. The railroad is based on sound science and technology just extrapolated to the future. I had a friend who is a geology professor at Arizona State (and a model railroader), as well as aeronautical engineers from NASA, Northrop Grumman and the FAA look at it for feasibility.
The Iran plan also bears special mentioning. The railroad across the Zagros Mountains is one of the more spectacular railroads in the world. There are hundreds of tunnels, thousands of bridges and a Tehachapi style loop under a mountain! During WWII the USMRS operated the sections from the Persian Gulf to Teheran. It was a busy railroad in an important era in history.
For this book, I adopted some improved graphic techniques. So these layouts look "prettier" than my earlier efforts. I plan to update my home layout drawing soon to reflect these new techniques.
Look for the book sometime around next Christmas.